Toshio Tanahashi was born in 1960. At the age of 27, he decided to serve as an apprentice at the Gesshinji Temple in Shiga prefecture, near Kyoto. A nunnery famous
for its abbess’ excellent SHOJIN cooking, he trained there for three years.
In 1992, he opened his restaurant Gesshinkyo in Tokyo. In 2000, Vogue Nippon ran a series of articles featuring his cooking and he was invited to demonstrate his
style of cooking at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In the same year, Tanahashi’s story was dramatized for a TV series entitled “Honmamon” (The True Thing) by NHK Broadcasting, and he
introduced Chinese traditional SHOJIN style from China in a program of NHK BS. Tanahashi collaborated with a French chef at Hotel Okura in Tokyo to widen the possibilities of vegetable cuisine in
In the same year, he gave lectures and demonstrations at the Japan Society in New York and Boston.
Tanahashi has been featured by The New York Times, The Sunday Times, The Japan Times, The Financial Times, and Telegraph Magazine. He is the author of SHOJIN (Bunka
Publishing Bureau, March 2002), a beautifully photographed recipe book, in Japanese, which outlines his philosophies of SHOJIN cooking.
After he closed Gesshinkyo in 2007, Tanahashi established ZECOOW Culinary Institute in February, 2008.He teaches "culinary arts and design("Shokugei 食藝")" as a
director at Kyoto University of Art and Design since April, 2009.He has also published books such as “SHOJIN-Wonder of Vegetables (Hard cover)” (2003) and “The Power of the Vegetable, the Time
for SHOJIN is Now” (2008) to spread SHOJIN cooking.